Comelec tapping malls to reach seniors, PWDs
As part of its voter registration campaign, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) plans set up biometric processing desks in malls for senior citizens and people with disabilities (PWDs).
Comelec Commissioner Grace Padaca, who is also a polio survivor, said the move was part of the poll body’s effort to reach as many sectors as possible.
“Currently, voter registration and validation for senior citizens and PWDs are done in Comelec offices, but we have received many requests to also conduct them in malls for convenience. We are seriously considering it,” she said.
“Our priority will be the PWDs and the senior citizens of municipalities and cities where the mall is located. But we plan to also accommodate even non-PWDs during these satellite registration in malls,” she added.
Padaca said the decision to conduct voter registration in malls would also depend on the number of PWDs and senior citizens who would register in Comelec offices.
“If we see that the registration is not going well for PWDs and senior citizens, we will open the registration in the malls. And from our feedback, many PWDs and senior citizens would prefer it at the malls because of accessibility,” she added.
In a statement, SM Malls Vice President of Operations Bien Mateo said the Henry Sy retail empire would always welcome efforts to make lives better for PWDs and senior citizens.
The Comelec is currently conducting a nationwide registration of voters for the 2016 elections until Oct. 31, 2015.
Comelec offices are open all week long, including Sundays. The poll body is targeting 9.6 million biometric registrants. Of the figure, 2.3 million are expected to be first-time voters.
Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. earlier stressed that voters must undergo biometric processing to be able to vote in 2016.